Hayleigh Colombo ’12 remembers sitting in her Lake Zurich, Illinois, high school, when an announcement came over the public-address system that representatives from Butler University were doing an informational session.
“I remember just liking the sound of ‘Butler University,’” she says, laughing at the memory. “It just sounded nice. So I went down to the College and Career Center and got more information.”
Colombo and her parents visited campus, where the future Journalism/Political Science major met most of the Journalism faculty. She was hooked. “I knew those people would be invested in me and seemed excited about me—which was something I didn’t receive on any other college visit. That turned out to be 100 percent correct, tenfold.”
Highlights of her four years at Butler included a semester in the nation’s capital as part of the Washington, DC Learning Semester; serving as a reporter and, eventually, Editor-in-Chief of the Butler Collegian; and getting to interview former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Colombo remembers being nervous at that interview in Clowes Memorial Hall, “but it was a cool moment connecting with the outside world,” she said. “It made me passionate about journalism and to keep going and keep learning.”
After graduation, Colombo spent a couple of years at the Journal and Courier newspaper in Lafayette, Indiana, before moving to Chalkbeat, the pioneering website that covers education. In 2015, she became a reporter for the Indianapolis Business Journal, where she covers education and government.
She credits Butler for giving her the preparation she needs to do her job.
“My professors taught me how to think critically,” she said. “My job requires a lot of on-the-fly thinking, a lot of taking in information I don’t understand very quickly and making sense of it for other people. Without Butler, I would not be able to do that in a way that provides information in a clear way. (Former Supreme Court Justice) Sandra Day O’Connor said the secret to a happy life is doing work worth doing. Butler expects your best, and I think work worth doing is something Butler prepared me to do.”